'Hooyah! Mission accomplished' greets Thai boys rescued from cave

Ruben Hill
July 11, 2018

'We did something no-one else thought was possible, ' he said as he thanked the Thai and global rescue team.

"They are not only the kids of Chiang Rai or the kids of Thailand", she said in English.

Deep inside the cave system, Dr Harris administered a mild sedative to the boys, ensuring they remained calm during the gruelling 1.7km swim to the surface.

In an astonishing against-all-odds rescue mission that grabbed the world's attention, the rescuers evacuated the final batch of four boys, aged between 11 and 16 years, along with their 25-year-old coach.

The 53-year-old gave up a family holiday and made his way to Northern Thailand, where he scuba dived 4km through cold, dark and narrow passages to reach the boys and assessed them as medically fit to attempt the risky escape mission.

The 12 boys and coach rescued over the three previous days "took care of themselves well in the cave", Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said at a news conference at the hospital in Chiang Rai city where the group is recovering.

After days of planning, the first four boys emerged Sunday after an arduous journey.

Royal Thai Navy Seals confirmed the rescue operation was complete on Tuesday afternoon (UK time) after three days of heroic efforts by divers, with all of those trapped carried out alive.

The Thai military sources said the pumps lasted just long enough to successfully rescue the final four boys and their soccer coach.

The rescued were finally carried out on stretchers from the second chamber, wearing surgical masks to ward off germs, and sunglasses due to their new sensitivity to light, the Thai military sources said.

Elon Musk posted photos and video from inside the cave in Thailand where four boys and their soccer coach remain trapped.

One volunteer died from what the Thai Navy Seals called a "medical condition" as he was restocking supplies along the route.

"We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what", they said on Facebook.

Richard Harris, a world-renowned medic and diver whose presence in the dramatic rescue of the Wild Boars squad was specially requested by experts, was reportedly the last person to leave the water-logged cavern on Tuesday. Some cross the border each day to go to school, a routine that Wassana Saebaew, one of their classmates, knows well. But Thai officials, acutely aware the monsoon rains could trap the boys for months, seized a window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather.

"I think everyone will welcome them back with the love".

Dutch media rejoiced on Tuesday afternoon as a Thai children's football team and their coach were all safely rescued from a flooded cave complex in Northern Thailand.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk said that the boys are "healthy and smiling", he added: "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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